Naked mole rat

Naked mole rat

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Credit: NEIL BROMHALL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) emerging from its burrow. The naked mole rat is a rodent that lives in underground colonies in eastern Africa. It is herbivorous, feeding on roots and tubers. The colony is organised in a similar manner to those of ants and bees. Only one female, the queen, breeds. She mates with up to three dominant males, and these dominant animals are protected by a few "soldiers". The rest of the animals in a colony are workers, tending the young, finding food and expanding the burrow system. This is known as a eusocial colony. A naked mole rat may reach 15cm in length. The queen is a little longer than the workers.

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Keywords: animal, burrow, burrowing, colonial, colony, eusocial, herbivore, herbivorous, heterocephalus glaber, hole, mammal, naked mole rat, nature, rodent, social, subterranean, wildlife, zoology

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